Kentucky Basketball: Will UK Utilize It’s Twin Towers More Often?

Nick Richards and Sacha Killeya-Jones shared the floor together at times during Kentucky’s victory of Harvard. Will we see more of Kentucky’s “Twin Towers” on the floor at the same time?

The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Harvard Crimson 79-70 on Saturday at Rupp Arena. One interesting development was the presence of both centers, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Nick Richards, on the floor at the same time. Will Kentucky fans be treated to more of the same going forward?

John Calipari was asked at his post-game press conference about playing Killeya-Jones and Richards together. The reporter asked, “Is that a line up you could use more often or is that just foul trouble?” Calipari responded, “Sacha’s been playing a lot of that in practice, as a matter of fact, he’s playing a lot more of that than he’s playing in Nick’s space. But, yeah, we can do it. We can be really big then.”

Richards is 6’11”, 240 pounds and Killeya-Jones is 6’10”, 221 pounds. A lineup like that will remind Kentucky fans of the 2014-15 season when the Wildcats started Willie Cauley-Stein (7’0″) alongside Karl-Anthony Towns (6’11”). That team, however, had Dakari Johnson (7’0″), Trey Lyles (6’10”) and Marcus Lee (6’9″). Should Towns or Cauley-Stein find themselves in foul trouble, Calipari had several guys who could slide into their spot.

Some older UK fans will remember the Twin Towers of the 1970’s, Mike Phillips and Rick Robey, who were part of the 1978 NCAA Championship team. In the 1980’s, Melvin Turpin and Sam Bowie owned the paint, forming another pair of giants who imposed their will on the opponent.

With PJ Washington saddled with two early fouls in the first half, it’s not surprising that Calipari took the opportunity to play Richards and Killeya-Jones alongside one another. Calipari was likely gauging what it might look like should he need to play the two side-by-side in the future.

While the idea of playing the two together has appeal, the lack of post depth makes it unlikely. Look for Richards to anchor the center position and Killeya-Jones to sub in at the five spot going forward.